MAKATI, Philippines - A forum jointly organized by the Philippines and France highlighted several factors that affect the integration of smallholder farmers, such as markets, standards, organization, policies, and investments. Recognizing the crucial role of smallholder farmers in sustainable food production to achieve food security and nutrition, the Department of Agriculture, together with...Read more
Bangkok, Thailand - Three administrative staff from SEARCA were welcomed by the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization's Secretariat (SEAMEO Secretariat) at its headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand on 20-21 September 2017 as part of the SEAMEO Staff Exchange Program. The program aims to enhance cooperation and partnership between and among SEAMEO Centers and the SEAMEO Secretariat, as...Read more
BANGKOK, Thailand – The Government of Thailand, through the Ministry of Education (MOE), will host the 65th SEARCA Governing Board Meeting on 19-20 October 2017 at the Radisson Blu Plaza here. This is the sixteenth time the country will host such meeting since Thailand joined the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) in 1965.
As the highest policymaking body...Read more
The ASEAN-Swiss Partnership on Social Forestry and Climate Change (ASFCC) supports the ASEAN Social Forestry Network (ASFN), now referred to as the ASEAN Working Group on Social Forestry (AWG-SF), in addressing three interrelated issues confronting the region---food insecurity, poverty and climate change. This program, funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC),...Read more
Mr. Nomer C. Esmero, Senior National Coordinator, Better Rice Initiative for Asia (BRIA), GIZ, talks about the logic of rice farming, an ethnography of a farming village in Mindanao, Philippines.
26 September 2017Los Baños, Laguna, PhilippinesRead more
The Umbrella Program on Food and Nutrition Security for Southeast Asia is envisaged to serve as a platform for collaborative research on food security among the University Consortium members and partner universities/institutions from the other Southeast Asian Ministries of Education Organization (SEAMEO) member countries. It aims to align the program of work on food security of SEARCA and the...Read more
Source: Food Evolution1 Oct 2017The Philippines and France have signed an administrative arrangement that aims to promote bilateral trade and cooperation in agricultural, fishery and food products, a move that subsequently called for the creation of a Joint Agricultural Steering Committee (JASC).
JASC would implement the administrative arrangement and facilitate linkages between the relevant...Read more
Source: Manila Standard29 Sep 2017SCIENCE CITY OF MUÑOZ, Nueva Ecija—The Philippine Carabao Center here will be hosting this year's International Conference on Carabao-Based Enterprise Development.
Ma. Cecilia Irang, PCC Information Officer, said about 200 participants from the Philippines and other Asian countries are expected to attend the event, which will be held at the...Read more
Research and Development Generating information, knowledge, lessons, and insights that will influence policies, investments, trade, and other actions that will promote competitive agriculture, as well as inclusive and sustainable ARD. Read More
Knowledge Management Promoting a learning culture, knowledge creation, knowledge-sharing and use, with a predominant focus on the broad strategic theme of ISARD. Read More
Groundbreaking workshop an important step towards a regional action plan on agrobiodiversity
Participants during the first day of the Regional Workshop on Mainstreaming Biodiversity in Agriculture for Sustainable Development and Food Security in SEA in Maejo University, Chiang Mai, Thailand, led by the ACB Executive Director, Atty. Roberto V. Oliva and Maejo University President, Dr. Chamnian Yosraj.
CHIANG MAI, Thailand. Raising awareness on the importance of agricultural biodiversity or agrobiodiversity to sustainable development and food security is a basic concern that was raised in the recently concluded Regional Workshop on Mainstreaming Biodiversity in Agriculture for Sustainable Development and Food Security in Southeast Asia held at Maejo University, Chiang Mai, Thailand on 12-14 September 2017.
ACB Executive Director Atty Roberto V. Oliva, giving his welcome remarks.This concern is highlighted by the absence of a clear and adequate articulation of agrobiodiversity in existing regional and national policy frameworks and programs that deal with agriculture or biodiversity despite its essential links to food systems and nutrition and its importance in enhancing local livelihoods. However, there are initiatives on the ground from which significant lessons can be learned, such as those on traditional ecological knowledge and sustainable use of agrobiodiversity, the integration of agrobiodiversity into local development programs and related initiatives for building capacities of communities and governments, and the integration of conservation of plant genetic diversity with landscape-level planning and decentralized government programming, while others yet asserted the crucial link between gender, capacity-building, and the local knowledge systems and their relevance to sustainable development.
SEARCA Director, Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit, Jr. delivering his closing remarks.These challenges and opportunities provide impetus for the development of a regional action plan on agrobiodiversity mainstreaming, conservation, and sustainable use. Strategic action points along the four elements of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) program of work, namely: assessments, adaptive management (tweaked to innovations and best practices for purposes of the workshop), capacity-building, and mainstreaming were identified and discussed by the participants. Their output, with fine-tuning, fleshing out, and further general processing, would serve as inputs to the regional action plan. There is yet much work to be done. However, this workshop is the important first step towards a strategic plan of action.
This Regional Workshop on Agrobiodiversity was a partnership among SEARCA, the ASEAN Center for Biodiversity (ACB), and Maejo University (MJU) whose strategic institutional foci are agriculture and rural development (for SEARCA and MJU) and biodiversity (for ACB). Both the SEARCA Director, Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit, Jr., and ACB Executive Director, Atty. Roberto V. Oliva acknowledged the support of the European Union (EU) to the regional workshop through the EU-funded and ACB-implemented programme called Biodiversity Conservation and Management of Protected Areas in ASEAN (BCAMP).
Dr. Percy E. Sajise, SEARCA Senior Fellow, delivers the Keynote Message at the Regional Workshop on Agrobiodiversity.
Dr. Wayne Nelles, the workshop Technical Coordinator, presenting the country status of agrobiodiversity in ASEAN as part of his background study and working paper for the regional workshop.
In his keynote paper, SEARCA Senior Fellow Dr. Percy E. Sajise stressed the importance of agrobiodiversity as a basic element of sustainable development. He emphasized the multi-functionality of agrobiodiversity, serving as link to productivity and resilience of ecosystems; buffer for climate change; and basic foundation for food security, human health and ecosystems services. Dr. Sajise discussed biodiversity as it relates to the ASEAN vision of sustainable development; the status and capacity of achieving ASEAN biodiversity and agrobiodiversity conservation and sustainable use targets; and opportunities and challenges in the conservation, sustainable use and mainstreaming of agrobiodiversity in the region. He offered recommendations to mainstream biodiversity in agriculture, some of which are as follows: documentation of good practices in deploying and managing agrobiodiversity in ASEAN; research on the “hidden values” of agrobiodiversity; sustained and properly valued agrobiodiversity services; Dr. Bessie M. Burgos, SEARCA's Program Head for Research and Development, presents token to the President of Maejo University Dr. Chamnian Yosraj. developing a regional agrobiodiversity database; networking of seedbanks at the community, national, and regional levels to better respond to disasters and climate change for food and nutrition security; recognition of outstanding biodiversity programs at all levels; upscaling of best practices; providing market incentives for the conservation and sustainable use of agrobiodiversity; and improving inter-pillar coordination in ASEAN in terms of complementarity for biodiversity and sustainable natural resource management.
Dr. Wayne Nelles, Visiting Scholar of Chulalongkorn University School of Agricultural Resources (CUSAR), served as the regional workshop Technical Coordinator. Around 70 representatives from the ministries of environment and of agriculture of the ASEAN Member States, selected universities across the region, research organizations, non-government organizations (NGOs), and development partners participated in the workshop. (Carmen Nyhria G. Rogel)
Participants during the last day of the workshop led by the SEARCA Director, Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit, Jr.